Case Study: How i made over N200,000 in two months selling El-glittas Hair Wonder and 4 reasons I like selling Nigerian locally-made products in my online business

Case study:

Elglitas Hair Wonder cream and Oil

The first time I saw this product I had my doubts – will it be good enough? will it fly? Until I started selling and made over N200,000 in two weeks.

How it started

One day I saw a merchant ship about 20 units of the item- that moment I said to myself I have start selling this product on my online store too. The next day, I got one for myself to feel how the product works; and right there and then, I thought to myself: this is a unique product I can sell; The product is in line with the kind of products I like to sell online: Elglittas Hair Wonder provides good solution(hair growth solution and hair loss prevention), had a profit margin of over 300% as it was hot selling at the time, and it is easy to source (as it was made in Nigeria)- so I jumped in.

I quickly inquired how much I could get it from supplier. It happened I could get at a very good price of N1000 (all costs inclusive) each.

I then sold online for N3500-N4000.

As it is with selling things online, you can place very good mark-up on newly introduced products online and quickly make huge profit (before other online merchants discover what you sell and start competing with price) – and by the way, as I write this, you can get this online for as low as N1,200 on most online marketplaces in Nigeria.

In all, I racked up sales of over 150pcs in two weeks, which resulted in over N300, 000 in revenue.

5 reasons I like selling Made in Nigeria locally made products

Looking back on my experience with elglittas Hair Wonder, I would like to draw some key points about selling products locally made in Nigeria, here goes:

  1. You can get better bargain from suppliers in Nigeria because you won’t have to take so much time to connect well with them.

Nothing can take the place of doing business face to face.

Most times you may not get the best bargain from your supplier until you meet with them face to face. Communicating face to face help build meaningful and stronger business relationships.

See this article on body language and how it can help you in bargaining with your suppliers for good deals that would benefit your business

In my case with Hair Wonder, the arrangement was pay-before-supply (I had no problem with that as it was quite cheap to get the supplies I wanted per time), but I’ve had lots of my suppliers supply me and I pay later because they know me one on one. They have assessed my personality and feel they can trust me- such bonds can be achieved when you meet suppliers face to face.

So except you have enough money for flight and other expenses to go to other countries to meet supplier, you might want to do a research on good Made in Nigeria products you can source online and start selling

  1. You can find it easy to transact business and communicate well with a Nigerian supplier

You have to communicate with your supplier one way or another. You have to tell them what you want, how many quantity, what quality and at what price. There are some of my suppliers in China who I wished they understood English; Most times I use translators online to communicate what I want (and that is not sufficient in all cases).

You might have problem getting good deals if you can’t communicate effectively in the language they understand. It can be stressful and also increases transaction time.

My transactions with Nigerian suppliers take me 1-2days to wrap up; and I communicate perfectly with them to get the best deals I want.

  1. You don’t have to deal with clearing and other freight logistics issues:

Your supplier residing in Aba or any other place in Nigeria means you do not have to worry about freight and other importing logistics headache that encroach into your profit. You want to as much as possible reduce your cost of getting your products so you can have a flexible pricing strategy. Often times, while I get the unit cost of an item very cheap from China; I pay a lot in clearing and handling before the item gets to me.

Your item cost price + shipping and handling cost helps determine your cost of getting your product to you. In the case of my Nigerian suppliers, cost per unit cost might be high but I do not spend much getting my item to me. I do not worry about shipping cost or other clearing issues.

  1. It gives me sense of contributing my quota to the development of our great Nation Nigeria.

Selling these products help me have a sense of belonging.

It shows I’m in tune with the tides of change coming in Africa. I believe there’s so much Africa can offer this world. My online business keeps confirming to me that Africa can compete on the global market. We just need more exposure. The more Nigerians patronize made-in-Nigeria products, we can begin to appreciate ourselves and believe we can do it. We can sustain ourselves… we can feed the world.

Recommendations

With internet, we see so many new products every day, and we see locally made products paraded more often now online. I would like to see more, and we can do that by having more products from manufacturers and suppliers. Having a place where one can easily source online for suppliers of locally made products in Nigeria.

Online merchants can easily scroll through list of suppliers to contact them, inquire and place order.

Manufacturers and suppliers can have a stronger presence online so as to be located easily. And they have a medium to unleash their new products into the market for customers to see.

In conclusion, doing trade international can be very hectic. As much as possible, you can avoid them. Although I sell imported products, I also make sure my eyes are open out there to locate locally made products to pounce on and make good money.

What about you? What other made in Nigerian products have you sold very well online? What have you learnt selling them? You can add in the comments below.

5 hacks on how to stay profitable in your online business in Nigeria

The bread and butter of any business is to make profit- what then is it if not to be profitable? As a typical small business owner in Nigeria, selling online is another avenue to further get more customers for what you sell. However selling online is quite different from the usual way you run your brick ‘n’ mortal store. To stay profitable in your online business, you have to master these 5 hacks to stay profitable. Well let’s get to it right away.

Master your pricing mechanism

Whenever you talk profitability, you must talk pricing. They go hand in hand. The price you slam on an item should cover for the cost plus your gain- if not, what else are you in the business for? Your price keep you up there competing with your competitors. This is key especially in the online marketplace world. It is important for you to master the several types of pricing mechanisms. This would help you have a pricing strategy that can always make you win in your business transactions.

Deal with two to three suppliers

In this game, you want to have options. Depending too much on one supplier can affect the profitability of your business. Having two to three suppliers gives you flexibility to source products for your utmost benefit. Part of what you’re looking for is how prompt is your suppliers to meet your orders? Are they giving you best price? All these affect the profitability of your business.

One very important point why you’re better off having more than one supplier is you can have better chance of always having products in stock as opposed to depending solely one which can fail you a times; if one runs out of stock, you can always fall back on another.

Always reinvent your online marketing strategy

More sales lead to more profit. To keep the sales coming regularly, you need to be abreast with trends and new internet marketing practices to help you get in more sales.

Investigate what others are doing now to get in more customers, how can you copy or do better. Always keep your ears and eyes open for the slightest information that can help your business. Visit blogs and forums to see what other people are doing or saying. Be smart and creative in your execution.

Always have budget for publicity

Most merchants In Nigeria are so blindly looking for free things. Yea I know in the world of internet there are a lot of free things. But if you base your business only on things that cost you nothing, you most likely would only remain on the average. Spending money to get money is the way to make more money in the online business. Get your books and calculate it out.

Sell across several online marketplace

Today, there are quite a number of online ecommerce and marketplace in Nigeria. Aside from the top guys like Jumia.com, Konga.com and olx.com, dealdey.com, a lot more online marketplaces are fast growing too like jiji.ng, cokodeal.com,  vconnect.com etc. What this means is a lot more opportunity for you to expose your products to thousands of customers, depending on your offerings. The more you sell at the right price, the more you make more money and the more profit increases.

Business is mostly about rolling your sleeves and getting down to work hard to get results. Ecommerce in Nigeria is fast growing, new concepts springing up every day. Get your pen and paper and calculate out what moves you need to make to get your business regularly profitable. Get your strategy right and always socialize.

That’s it for now guys.

If you have any question, leave a comment.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

How should I start my ecommerce business? Pitfalls and guides.

The internet has played a huge role in the revolution of business in this era. Old ways of reaching customers and conducting business operations has evolved over the years. Things have become more automated. Businesses have had to drastically adjust to the new system of running their business, they’ve embraced the fact that it would be a loss to their business to be against this revolution. So while others have successfully adjusted or plunged in to this technology with their business, some have not had that much success. There are also those who are on the brink of joining the train however not so sure what to expect and how to get started. This post would help put this confusion into perspective.

Is going online for my business?

That’s the question some business people ask themselves. Some in this same line include: how can I tap into the resources of the internet? What do I need to get my business online? What can getting my business online bring to my business bottom-line? Before you even start, you should understand the usefulness of the internet and how it can boost your sales. The internet gives everybody a level playing ground. This means you can compete on same level with big giants like Samsung, Sony etc so long as you have your products to sell. If you can convince your customers enough that what you sell is good deal, you can make good sales for yourself. The internet breaks the walls of separation amongst geographical regions- making the world a one global unit. It’s so easy to locate a seller somewhere in China and you have your products shipped to your doorsteps in Nigeria or anywhere in the world. What this means to your business is; whatever you sell can be viewed by anybody in the world wherever they are so long as they have internet connection. Whatever you sell, there are technological applications that help make it easy for you to meet customers online. So to help put this into proper perspective. You want to ask yourself; what do you sell? Who do you intend to sell to? Who are your customers? Are these set of people the kind you can find online? If so, how do you find them online? These questions would help you a lot in deciding if selling online is right for your business and also how best to get your products in front of them.

This leads to the next question:

How much would it Cost to sell online?

To consider online as a medium to expand sales comes with cost. So are you ready for the cost it can bring? There are a lot of things to think about like the skill set needed to managing and running your online store for example. Do you need to get someone else to do this for you? How much would internet connection cost? How much for publicity and promotion of your offers? All these must be factored in when you’re planning your business to go online. Let it be clear to you how much you would spend as fixed and variable costs and see if it is something you can do.  There’s the dilemma of running your own ecommerce store where you put in a lot of resources (Which requires large resources) vs creating an ecommerce store with a store provider where you can promote your products on their marketplace in which some of these online store providers like cokodeal.com, konga.com, vconnect.com etc charge little for uploading items on their platforms but they do huge publicity for their subscribers which help the subscribers make more sales.

Are there other hidden costs? Issues like returns, order cancellations in transactions disputes can be a torn in the flesh for sellers. How prepared is your business to handle and withstand unforeseen situations like these ones? Given it’s your responsibility to satisfy your customers, How far can you go to do that? These are some of the questions to help give you birds’-eye view of how to setup for doing business online.

There are loads of benefits with leveraging ecommerce for your business, however focusing majorly on the benefits without actually having a clear picture on how much it can cost you can lead to serious mistake on the long run. This understanding would help anyone who wants to get their business online to know what they’re getting into.

 

10 things customers say they want and can make you a top seller

 

Are you new to business or aiming to grow your business? From a research here is what we found out that differentiates top sellers from the rest? According to a research by the Rain Group, buyers reveal why they prefer buying from some sellers over the others:

#1 ‘Educated me with new ideas or perspectives’
Your customers wouldn’t need any help if they could figure it out themselves- in fact even if they had a solution handy, they probably would want to explore other solutions and see which is best for them. Providing customers with innovative ideas and perspective to solving their problems is what top seller do expertly according to research and that’s what any seller should do to boost sales. Some business people create blog posts, some e-books or short videos to proffer new ideas or perspectives to solving certain problems.

#2 ‘Collaborated with me’

Customers don’t want to be seen as those being coined out of their money. When customers come to you for solution, they don’t want to be left out of the action. They have a taste of what they want, how they want to be served, do well to listen to them and give them what they want.

#3 ‘Persuaded me we would achieve results’

Customers wants to know if you can deliver. It is your responsibility to prove to her you can deliver and that you can provide the results she wants. Provide every necessary information is possible to lay your claim. Show samples, customer reviews and ratings.

#4 ‘Listened to me’

How do you know how to solve a problem when you don’t know the problem in the first place? The only way to understand a customer’s problem is to listen carefully to them and try sieve out relevant information- as a matter of fact your customers most times don’t know what they want; it is you who needs to be attentive to know the main pain-points and the best solution to meet their need; and this comes by attentive listening to your customers.

#5 ‘Understood my needs’

The moment you can understand her needs, she is confident she has you to always talk to when problems come, and lastly, You should always let your customers know you understand her problems, this also boosts her confidence in you that you’re listening and connect well with her.

#6 ‘Helped me avoid potential pitfalls’

Helping your customers escape imminent pitfalls can win you loyal customers anytime- it works magic! When you see your business as a place where customers can get solution for their problems(not minding if you have to refer your customers to other sellers), your customers can be sure to come back to you to patronize you when they have a problem. This helps build trust that you can always solve their problems (and in some cases places you as a thought leader in your field) whenever they come in contact with your business.

#7 ‘Crafted a compelling solution’

Providing the best solution wouldn’t cut it, rather a providing a compelling solution would make you a top seller every time. What makes a solution compelling isn’t features or attractiveness- or even in how much benefit your customers can get, but in how accurate your solution can meet customers pain-points. proffering a compelling solution can only come when you understand what the customers want.

#8 ‘Depicted purchasing process accurately’

How smooth have you made the purchase process for your customers and is the purchase process exactly as you depicted to your customers? don’t surprise your customers with hidden processes which can drag or frustrate their purchase process.Let them know before-hand what to expect as they through the process. Finally, Much more than ever, do well to make the purchase process easy and simple as much as possible.

#9 ‘Connected with me personally’

Sales experts have shown over the years that we make our buying decisions largely through emotions. Top sellers do well to connect with their customers emotionally. They listen, understand and connect personally with their customers. They know their customers by name, send mails and complementary greetings to their customers. This helps their customers trust them that much more than the money, the sellers are interested in them and their success.

#10 ‘Overall value from the company is superior to other options’

There would always be competition out there. Your ability to differentiate your business is key; you do this not by listing numerous benefits but the quality of value your customers receive when in contact with your business. Your customers must be able to perceive the quality they receive from your business as superior to other options.

How prepared is your online store for the festive rush?

 Brace yourself, things are going to get really hectic! Much more than before in Africa, the e-commerce landscape is increasing and with consumers having increased access to the Internet via mobile technology and a fast-growing middle class, Africa is awake to shopping online as evident in konga.com’s version of ‘Black Friday’ this year raking a record sales of over N1.2 billion.

Continue reading How prepared is your online store for the festive rush?